Posts

Mon., February 10 at 1:30 PM in Mulder Chapel

In such a time of division, politically and ideologically, it becomes difficult for us to live in fellowship with one another. The church is not exempt from this type of division. The Reformed Church in America, like many denominations, faces major questions regarding unity in the face of stark disagreement. Is unity possible? Is our vision of the church as a unified body of Christ idealistic and unattainable?

Rev. Dr. Joseph Small, former director of the PCUSA Office of Theology and Worship, is no stranger to these conversations. In his book Flawed Church, Faithful God: A Reformed Ecclesiology for the Real World, he explores the following questions: What is the Church? Why does it matter for the world we live in? He says, “The church is a communion of intimacy and solidarity because of what it cannot justify about itself coupled with recognition that its justification lies in the grace of God. Only as the church knows that its life is not self-generated and maintained can it witness faithfully to the God who generates and maintains it” (xiv).

Join Rev. Dr. Small for a public lecture, with responses from Rev. Dr. Dan Griswold and Rev. Jennifer Ryden, in which Dr. Small will explore these and other questions related to the communion of the church in this divided age.

This event is sponsored by the Girod Chair of Western Theological Seminary.

When it comes to the work of racial justice, this year’s Stoutemire lecturer Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says two things the church needs are courage, and the will to listen.

“The dominant narrative in our world is ‘everyone has an equal chance of success.’ All you need to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you can be successful just like XYZ person over here. Well we know that’s not true—the playing field is still not equal or level,” she says. “You now are going to have to take the time to listen to people’s experiences and perspectives that you might not be accustomed to listening to.”

When it comes to the work of racial justice, this year’s Stoutemire lecturer Dr. Leah Gunning Francis says two things the church needs are courage, and the will to listen.

“The dominant narrative in our world is ‘everyone has an equal chance of success.’ All you need to do is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and you can be successful just like XYZ person over here. Well we know that’s not true—the playing field is still not equal or level,” she says. “You now are going to have to take the time to listen to people’s experiences and perspectives that you might not be accustomed to listening to.”

Today’s guest is Dr. Deanna Thompson, professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and author of “Glimpsing Resurrection: Cancer, Trauma, and Ministry.” Dr. Thompson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008 and is currently in remission. WTS student Katlyn DeVries sat down with Dr. Thompson to discuss how faith is experienced through the trauma of serious illness, and what connections she sees between cancer stories and the Christian story.

Today’s guest is Dr. Deanna Thompson, professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and author of “Glimpsing Resurrection: Cancer, Trauma, and Ministry.” Dr. Thompson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008 and is currently in remission. WTS student Katlyn DeVries sat down with Dr. Thompson to discuss how faith is experienced through the trauma of serious illness, and what connections she sees between cancer stories and the Christian story.

Former Grand Rapids Mayor, Rev. George Heartwell is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary (’88), who for 14 years led Heartside Ministries, working with and advocating for the city’s most disadvantaged residents. He also served two terms as City Commissioner from 1992-1999, before being elected mayor in 2003. Rev. Heartwell was Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor, serving until 2016 and focusing on issues like sustainability, social justice, and community development.

“I believe that politics, narrowly defined, has no place in the pulpit. That said, to not preach a prophetic gospel is to diminish and de-fang if you will the power of the Gospel. The pastor in her or his preaching has to walk that really really difficult line between not being political, but being prophetic.” -Rev. Heartwell

Former Grand Rapids Mayor, Rev. George Heartwell is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary (’88), who for 14 years led Heartside Ministries, working with and advocating for the city’s most disadvantaged residents. He also served two terms as City Commissioner from 1992-1999, before being elected mayor in 2003. Rev. Heartwell was Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor, serving until 2016 and focusing on issues like sustainability, social justice, and community development.

“I believe that politics, narrowly defined, has no place in the pulpit. That said, to not preach a prophetic gospel is to diminish and de-fang if you will the power of the Gospel. The pastor in her or his preaching has to walk that really really difficult line between not being political, but being prophetic.” -Rev. Heartwell

In this episode, Sarah Arthur, who recently published the book A Light so Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time, sits down with Jeff Munroe to talk about writing this book in light of her own recent cancer diagnosis, and what Madeleine’s life means to her.

In this episode, Sarah Arthur, who recently published the book A Light so Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time, sits down with Jeff Munroe to talk about writing this book in light of her own recent cancer diagnosis, and what Madeleine’s life means to her.

In this episode we sat down with Kevin Cloud, author of “God and Hamilton: Spiritual themes from the life of Alexander Hamilton and the Broadway Musical He Inspired.” Reverend Lindsay Small, a Hamilton fan and pastor at Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland, interviewed Kevin.